The Chinese government has mobilized over 10,000 paramilitary police officers in a bid to reassert control in Xinjiang Province following a recent spate of violence this month.
The government has accused terrorist elements of the Uighur people, an ethnic minority of Muslims in China’s furthest northwestern region, for executing a number of terrorist attacks in recent years that have resulted in hundreds of dead.
China is relying on a special branch of its internal defense units, the People’s Armed Police, in a show of force that includes military aircraft and armored vehicles, in addition to the heavily armed police units.
Unrest in Xinjiang has been steadily increasing over the years, primarily between the Uighur people and the Han Chinese, with accusations from both sides of inciting further violence. The region is a strategically important area for the Chinese government, as it houses significant natural resources and access to vital economic ties to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.